What causes allergies

Allergic cough is primarily caused by an overactive immune system responding excessively to certain substances that the body becomes exposed to. This occurs when the body mistakes harmless substances for harmful ones, and thus initiates a defense system to ward them off. This causes the release of the chemical called histamine, which the body releases when a patient is suffering from a freezing. Histamine is responsible for runny noses, coughing, sneezing, and swelling of the nasal passages, so the patient starts experiencing cold-like symptoms even in the absence of the common freezing.

This is when allergic cough comes in.

There is no one cause behind every allergic reactions, but some people seem more prone to them than others. It generally runs in families, so people with a family history of allergies own a greater chance of developing allergic cough. Studies show that children with one allergic parent own a 33% chance of developing allergies; this number increases to 70% if both parents are allergic.

Allergic cough is also heavily influenced by external factors.

It may take an extreme pollen season or moving into a new moldy environment to cause flare-ups to become even worse than normal.

The body also reacts to diverse allergens; it may be capable to flag below some allergens and defend itself, but it may also drop prey to other allergens. The body generally reacts to the allergens by activating mast cells; it is at this point that the symptoms such as allergic cough start. Once the mast cells burst, the body will be overflowing with histamine. The exposure to the allergen will affect how endless the symptoms will be present, and the quantity of exposure will also affect the types and severity of symptoms.

This is why some people are capable to tolerate consuming something or getting exposed to something they are allergic from, but the body reacts when the exposure is continuous, extended, or in excess of what it can handle. This means that there is a specific threshold for triggering allergic cough.


If your kid has symptoms after eating certain foods, he or she may own a food allergy.

A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. This is an allergic reaction. Foods that cause allergic reactions are allergens.

Non-IgE Mediated Food Allergies

Most symptoms of non-IgE mediated food allergies involve the digestive tract.

Symptoms may be vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms can take longer to develop and may final longer than IgE mediated allergy symptoms. Sometimes, a reaction to a food allergen occurs up 3 days after eating the food allergen.

When an allergic reaction occurs with this type of allergy, epinephrine is generally not needed. In general, the best way to treat these allergies is to stay away from the food that causes the reaction. Under are examples of conditions related to non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Not every children who react to a certain food own an allergy.

They may own food intolerance. Examples are lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, sulfite sensitivity or dye sensitivity. Staying away from these foods is the best way to avoid a reaction. Your child’s doctor may propose other steps to prevent a reaction. If your kid has any food allergy symptoms, see your child’s doctor or allergist. Only a doctor can properly diagnose whether your kid has an IgE- or non-IgE food allergy. Both can be present in some children.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic (ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik) esophagitis is an inflamed esophagus. The esophagus is a tube from the throat to the stomach.

An allergy to a food can cause this condition.

With EoE, swallowing food can be hard and painful. Symptoms in infants and toddlers are irritability, problems with eating and poor weight acquire. Older children may own reflux, vomiting, stomach pain, chest pain and a feeling love food is “stuck” in their throat. The symptoms can happen days or even weeks after eating a food allergen.

EoE is treated by special diets that remove the foods that are causing the condition. Medication may also be used to reduce inflammation.

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)

FPIES is another type of food allergy.

It most often affects young infants. Symptoms generally don’t appear for two or more hours. Symptoms include vomiting, which starts about 2 hours or later after eating the food causing the condition. This condition can also cause diarrhea and failure to acquire weight or height. Once the baby stops eating the food causing the allergy, the symptoms go away. Rarely, severe vomiting and diarrhea can happen which can lead to dehydration and even shock. Shock occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Emergency treatment for severe symptoms must happen correct away at a hospital.

The foods most likely to cause a reaction are dairy, soy, rice, oat, barley, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, squash and poultry.

Allergic Proctocolitis

Allergic proctocolitis is an allergy to formula or breast milk. This condition inflames the lower part of the intestine. It affects infants in their first year of life and generally ends by age 1 year.

The symptoms include blood-streaked, watery and mucus-filled stools. Infants may also develop green stools, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia (low blood count) and fussiness.

When properly diagnosed, symptoms resolve once the offending food(s) are removed from the diet.

Medical review December 2014.

What Are Allergies?

Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harming the body.

Substances that cause allergic reactions — such as some foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines — are known as allergens.

Allergies are a major cause of illness in the United States.

Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of kids, own some type of allergy. In fact, allergies cause about 2 million missed school days each year.

How Are Allergies Treated?

There’s no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed. The best way to manage with them is to avoid the allergens. That means that parents must educate their kids early and often, not only about the allergy itself, but also about the reactions they can own if they consume or come into contact with the allergen.

Telling every caregivers (childcare staff, teachers, family members, parents of your child’s friends, etc.) about your child’s allergy is also important.

If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t assist, doctors might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays.

(Many of these also are available without a prescription.)

In some cases, doctors recommend allergy shots(immunotherapy) to assist desensitize a person to an allergen. But allergy shots are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They’re not used for food allergies.

Food Allergies

Kids with food allergies must completely avoid products made with their allergens. This can be tough as allergens are found in numerous unexpected foods and products.

Always read labels to see if a packaged food contains your child’s allergen. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state in understandable language whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens.

This label requirement makes things a little easier. But it’s significant to remember that «safe» foods could become unsafe if food companies change ingredients, processes, or production locations.

Cross-contamination means that the allergen is not one of the ingredients in a product, but might own come into contact with it during production or packaging. Companies are not required to label for cross-contamination risk, though some voluntarily do so.

You may see statements such as «May contain…,» «Processed in a facility that also processes…,» or «Manufactured on equipment also used for ….»

Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label for it, it’s always best to contact the company to see if the product could contain your child’s allergen. Glance for this information on the company’s website or email a company representative.

Cross-contamination also can happen at home or in restaurants when kitchen surfaces or utensils are used for diverse foods.

Anywhere from 40 to 50 million people in the U.S. own allergies or asthma. These diseases are so common that it might seem love the diagnosis and treatment are straightforward and that any doctor should be capable to ister the most effective therapies.

However, allergists are experts in their field with specialized training that allows them to:

  1. Identify the source of your suffering
  2. Develop a personalized plan that eliminates your symptoms
  3. Perform allergy testing
  4. Accurately diagnose your condition
  5. Treat more than just your symptoms
  6. Provide you with the most cost-effective care that produces the best results

Two key steps in the process of allergy diagnosis are the medical history and allergy test selection.

Allergists use their skills in these areas to assist more patients feel well, stay athletic during the day, and relax at night. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.

IgE Mediated Food Allergies

The IgE mediated food allergies most common in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. The allergic reaction can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Some of the symptoms can include:

  1. Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  2. Feeling love something terrible is about to happen
  3. Skin rash, itching, hives
  4. Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
  5. Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  6. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated.

    Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.

  7. Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food. This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild. Other times they can be severe. Take every allergic symptoms seriously. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis).

This reaction generally involves more than one part of the body and can get worse quick. Anaphylaxis must be treated correct away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.

Treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine. This medicine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. You can’t rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction happen shortly after contact with an allergen. In some individuals, there may be a delay of two to three hours before symptoms first appear.

Cross-Reactivity and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Having an IgE mediated allergy to one food can mean your kid is allergic to similar foods.

For example, if your kid is allergic to shrimp, he or she may be allergic to other types of shellfish, such as crab or crayfish. Or if your kid is allergic to cow’s milk, he or she may also be allergic to goat’s and sheep’s milk. The reaction between diverse foods is called cross-reactivity. This happens when proteins in one food are similar to the proteins in another food.

Cross-reactivity also can happen between latex and certain foods.

For example, a kid who has an allergy to latex may also own an allergy to bananas, avocados, kiwis or chestnuts.

Some people who own allergies to pollens, such as ragweed and grasses, may also be allergic to some foods. Proteins in the pollens are love the proteins in some fruits and vegetables. So, if your kid is allergic to ragweed, he or she may own an allergic reaction to melons and bananas. That’s because the protein in ragweed looks love the proteins in melons and bananas. This condition is oral allergy syndrome.

Symptoms of an oral allergy syndrome include an itchy mouth, throat or tongue.

Symptoms can be more severe and may include hives, shortness of breath and vomiting. Reactions generally happen only when someone eats raw food. In rare cases, reactions can be life-threatening and need epinephrine.

Two Categories of Food Allergies

  • Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
  • Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  • coughing
  • Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  • Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever).

    Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  • sneezing
  • Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  • Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  • Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.
  • hoarseness
  • A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  • itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  • Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients.

    Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.

  • vomiting
  • Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.
  • swelling
  • Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.
  • coughing
  • Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow.

    Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.

  • Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  • hives
  • Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  • Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids.

    Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.

  • stomachache
  • stuffy nose
  • Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  • Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home.

    Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.

  • If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  • throat tightness
  • Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction.

    Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

  • trouble breathing
  • a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
  • itchy nose and/or throat
  • Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food.

    What causes allergies

    This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated. Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.
  • Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others.

    Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

  • wheezing
  • diarrhea
  • Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  • Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  • A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

Who Gets Allergies?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed below through genes from parents to their kids. But just because you, your partner, or one of your children might own allergies doesn’t mean that every of your kids will definitely get them. And someone generally doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.

Some kids own allergies even if no family member is allergic, and those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others.

How Do Allergies Happen?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off.

This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen «invader.»

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen.

So, when a person with a food allergy eats that specific food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will own an allergic reaction.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).

So doctors will desire anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency. Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Common Airborne Allergens

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  1. Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever).

    Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  2. Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva.

    When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers.

    What causes allergies

    As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.

  3. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
  4. Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments.

    Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  5. Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  2. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  3. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  4. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  5. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  6. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. stuffy nose
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms

  1. hoarseness
  2. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  3. trouble breathing
  4. wheezing
  5. stomachache
  6. throat tightness
  7. diarrhea
  8. coughing
  9. hives
  10. swelling
  11. vomiting
  12. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Allergic reactions can vary. Sometimes, a person can own a mild reaction that affects only one body system, love hives on the skin.

Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents.

    What causes allergies

    Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.

  2. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
  3. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas.

    Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  4. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.
  5. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.

    Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.

  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others. Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Other Common Allergens

  1. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions.

    Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.

  2. A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  3. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite. But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.
  4. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives.

    Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.

  5. A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions. For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Some allergies are fairly simple to identify but others are less obvious because they can be similar to other conditions.

If your kid has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a «cold» at the same time every year, talk with your doctor, who might diagnose an allergy and prescribe medicines, or may refer you to an allergist(a doctor who is an expert in the treatment of allergies) for allergy tests.

To discover the cause of an allergy, allergists generally do skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens.

A skin test can work in one of two ways:

Who Gets Allergies?

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed below through genes from parents to their kids. But just because you, your partner, or one of your children might own allergies doesn’t mean that every of your kids will definitely get them. And someone generally doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.

Some kids own allergies even if no family member is allergic, and those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others.

How Do Allergies Happen?

An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off.

What causes allergies

This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.

In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen «invader.»

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.

Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen.

So, when a person with a food allergy eats that specific food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will own an allergic reaction.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).

So doctors will desire anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency. Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Common Airborne Allergens

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  1. Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often calledhay fever or rose fever).

    Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

    Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can assist people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are generally higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.

  2. Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers.

    As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.

  3. Dust mites are microscopic insects that live every around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that drop off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of home dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
  4. Moldsare fungi that thrive both indoors and exterior in warm, moist environments.

    Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  5. Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Airborne Allergies

To assist kids avoid airborne allergens:

  1. Remove carpets or rugs from your child’s room (hard floors don’t collect dust as much as carpets do).
  2. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your kid is allergic to dust mites.
  3. Keep family pets out of your child’s bedroom.
  4. Don’t hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that permit dust to build up.
  5. Clean when your kid is not in the room.
  6. If your kid has a pollen allergy, hold the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, own your kid take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don’t let him or her mow the lawn.
  7. Keep kids who areallergic to mold away fromdamp areas, such as some basements, and hold bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which generally develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. stuffy nose
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. coughing

When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis.

(Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic «shiners.»)

Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms

  1. hoarseness
  2. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  3. trouble breathing
  4. wheezing
  5. stomachache
  6. throat tightness
  7. diarrhea
  8. coughing
  9. hives
  10. swelling
  11. vomiting
  12. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Allergic reactions can vary. Sometimes, a person can own a mild reaction that affects only one body system, love hives on the skin.

Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

What Things Cause Allergies?

Common Food Allergens

Up to 2 million, or 8%, of kids in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

  1. Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in numerous of the foods kids eat — and in numerous cases they’re «hidden» ingredients.

    Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.

  2. Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Numerous infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
  3. Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years ancient are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas. Most formulas are cow’s milk-based.

    Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Numerous kids outgrow milk allergies.

  4. Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people generally don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from diverse families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergicto the other.
  5. Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
  6. Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in numerous foods, and some are more obvious than others.

    Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference.

    What causes allergies

    Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than make a person feel ill — love other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.

Other Common Allergens

  1. Medicines. Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Numerous other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can purchase without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
  2. A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  3. Insect allergy. For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite.

    But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.

  4. Chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Generally, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  5. A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

Some kids also own what are called cross-reactions.

For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might own symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods likekiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.

How Are Allergies Diagnosed?

Some allergies are fairly simple to identify but others are less obvious because they can be similar to other conditions.

If your kid has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a «cold» at the same time every year, talk with your doctor, who might diagnose an allergy and prescribe medicines, or may refer you to an allergist(a doctor who is an expert in the treatment of allergies) for allergy tests.

To discover the cause of an allergy, allergists generally do skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens.

A skin test can work in one of two ways:

  • A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a little pricking device.
  • A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t painful.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy.

For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

Why Take a Medical History?

When it comes to human allergic disease, an individual’s medical history is as significant as the results of an allergy test. Medical history is the critical link between allergy test results and allergic disease itself.

Allergy skin testing is the gold standard and is used along with the medical history to establish a diagnosis.

What causes allergies

Both blood and skin allergy tests can detect a patient’s sensitivity to common inhalants love pollen and dust mites or to medicines, certain foods, latex, venom, or other substances. Generally skin testing is the most precise and preferred method used by trained allergists. Allergy blood tests may be ordered in certain specific situations, such as severe skin rashes, or if it is impossible to stop a medication that interferes with the interpretation of the skin test.

If the results of skin and blood allergy tests are not clear or are inconsistent with the patient’s medical history, allergists rely on their training and experience along with a patient’s medical history and a physical examination—not test results—to make the final diagnosis.

Research confirms what allergists already know: Allergy tests are valuable for their ability to give precise and dependable results that confirm information gathered in the medical history.

Why Is Allergy Test Choice Important?

An significant related consideration is for health practitioners to select the correct test, the one best capable to aid the diagnostic process.

For numerous reasons, that’s not an simple occupation. Allergy patients are often sensitized to numerous allergens, but are only clinically allergic to one or more specific substances. Allergists are trained to select tests that pinpoint the relevant allergen, which enables them to develop optimal therapies for each patient.

Board-certified allergists recognize that not every allergy tests are same. They regularly review the scientific literature to study which testing systems work better than others and the laboratory practices that may affect test results.

Allergy tests should not be ordered randomly, either.

They are chosen based on symptoms, environmental and occupational exposures, age, and even hobbies. Every results are then interpreted in the context of the patient’s medical history.

Get the facts: Discover answers with an allergist.

Definition & Overview

Allergic cough is a term used to distinguish cough caused by allergies from cough caused by the common freezing. Cough is generally accompanied by a runny nose and nasal congestion, and these symptoms happen simultaneously when a person is suffering from a common freezing or allergic reaction. It is sometimes hard to diagnose and treat a cough because patients are uncertain as to what exactly causes it.

As a result, they may take incorrect medications and fail to seek proper medical attention.

After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.

Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are extremely sensitive to a specific allergen.

Even if testing shows an allergy, a kid also must own symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.

Why Take a Medical History?

When it comes to human allergic disease, an individual’s medical history is as significant as the results of an allergy test.

Medical history is the critical link between allergy test results and allergic disease itself.

Allergy skin testing is the gold standard and is used along with the medical history to establish a diagnosis. Both blood and skin allergy tests can detect a patient’s sensitivity to common inhalants love pollen and dust mites or to medicines, certain foods, latex, venom, or other substances. Generally skin testing is the most precise and preferred method used by trained allergists. Allergy blood tests may be ordered in certain specific situations, such as severe skin rashes, or if it is impossible to stop a medication that interferes with the interpretation of the skin test.

If the results of skin and blood allergy tests are not clear or are inconsistent with the patient’s medical history, allergists rely on their training and experience along with a patient’s medical history and a physical examination—not test results—to make the final diagnosis.

Research confirms what allergists already know: Allergy tests are valuable for their ability to give precise and dependable results that confirm information gathered in the medical history.

Why Is Allergy Test Choice Important?

An significant related consideration is for health practitioners to select the correct test, the one best capable to aid the diagnostic process.

For numerous reasons, that’s not an simple occupation. Allergy patients are often sensitized to numerous allergens, but are only clinically allergic to one or more specific substances. Allergists are trained to select tests that pinpoint the relevant allergen, which enables them to develop optimal therapies for each patient.

Board-certified allergists recognize that not every allergy tests are same. They regularly review the scientific literature to study which testing systems work better than others and the laboratory practices that may affect test results.

Allergy tests should not be ordered randomly, either.

They are chosen based on symptoms, environmental and occupational exposures, age, and even hobbies. Every results are then interpreted in the context of the patient’s medical history.

Get the facts: Discover answers with an allergist.

Definition & Overview

Allergic cough is a term used to distinguish cough caused by allergies from cough caused by the common freezing. Cough is generally accompanied by a runny nose and nasal congestion, and these symptoms happen simultaneously when a person is suffering from a common freezing or allergic reaction.

It is sometimes hard to diagnose and treat a cough because patients are uncertain as to what exactly causes it. As a result, they may take incorrect medications and fail to seek proper medical attention.


Who to See & Types of Treatments Available

Since allergic cough is caused by totally diverse factors, it requires a completely diverse treatment, which typically involves the following:

  1. Avoiding allergens or irritants your body is sensitive to; the most common allergens are pollen, mould, animal dander, and dust mites.

  2. Taking antihistamines, which inhibits the release of histamines and thus, relieves the symptoms such as stuffy nose, runny nose, and swollen nasal passages.
  3. Taking nasal steroids, which also ease the inflammation and irritation along the nasal passageway, keeping the patient comfortable.
  4. Taking decongestants, which relieves stuffy and runny nose.
  5. Undergoing immunotherapy, which means getting allergy shots or little doses of the substance you are allergic to, so that as the dosage increases, the body develops a tolerance to the said substance.

Allergic cough is rarely a serious condition, although its symptoms can be extremely inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially if the patient does not seek medical assistance. If the allergy is not managed properly, there is a risk of developing asthma. So even if allergy symptoms are extremely mild, it is still best to see a doctor to seek relief from symptoms as well as long-term protection from complications.

References:

  1. Micallef RE. (1983). “Effect of terbutaline sulphate in chronic allergic cough.” British Medical Journal.
  2. Wheatley L., Togias A. (2015). “Allergic Rhinitis.” The New England Journal of Medicine.
  3. Sylvester D., Karkos P., Vaughan C., Johnston J., et al.

    What causes allergies

    (2012). “Chronic cough, reflux, postnasal drip syndrome, and the otolaryngologist.” International Journal of Otolaryngology.

  4. Tarlo S., Lemiere C. (2014). “Occupational Asthma.” The New England Journal of Medicine.
  5. Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine Journals


Main allergy symptoms

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  2. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  3. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  4. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  5. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  6. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.


Key Symptoms

There are key differences in the symptoms of a cough associated with the common freezing and allergic cough.

A cough caused by an allergy tends to:

  1. Lasts for days to months, as endless as the allergens are present
  2. May happen any time of the year, unlike common freezing, which happen most often in colder seasons
  3. Cause sudden symptoms that start as soon as the patient becomes exposed to the allergen

While allergic cough can also be accompanied by a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and sore throat, it is never accompanied by fever and body aches.

If you own a cough and you are running a fever, it is likely that the cough is caused by the common freezing. The common freezing also extremely rarely lasts longer than 14 days, so if a cough does not seem to go away after two weeks and does not seem to be responding to freezing treatments and remedies, then it is time to glance into the possibility of having allergies.

Allergic cough can also be accompanied by sinus and middle ear infections.

These are not considered as symptoms, but as indirect effects of the allergic reaction. Due to the swelling in the nasal passageways, the sinuses become highly sensitive, thus raising the risk of sinus infection, also known as sinusitis. The symptoms of sinus infections include pain around the sinuses (which affects the forehead, upper part and either sides of the nose, upper jaw and upper teeth, cheekbones, and between the eyes), sinus discharge, headache, sore throat, and severe congestion.

However, allergic cough, as well as other symptoms of allergies, can also be outgrown.

Most people discover that when they enter middle age, their symptoms become less common even when they become exposed to allergens. This is mainly due to the weakening of the immune system and its inability to react as strongly as it used to. However, this does not mean that the allergy itself is gone. Allergies to certain types of food, bee stings, and latex are the ones that are hardest to outgrow.


Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

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